Here are two historic photos of the Rentola, a Finnish boarding house at 4 N. 59th Ave. W., in West Duluth. The top photo is from Karl Hagglund, whose grandmother was a maid at the Rentola. The next photo is from 1961, courtesy of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center. So the story goes, there was an old steam house nearby where Rentola residents took saunas.
In 1994 I worked for six months at the Holiday Stationstore at 3401 Grand Ave., next to Wheeler Fields. The store closed around 2003 and the building is empty now. As you can imagine, there were a number of characters that frequented the store. One of them we called Turban Lady.
WILL IT BE MURDER?
Patrick Mulligan May Die From Injuries Received From Chief Madden.
Patrick Mulligan, who runs the “Little Diamond saloon on Central avenue, and who had his jaw broken a few days ago at the brickyard bagnio by a blow from ex Chief of Police Madden, was taken yesterday to St. Mary’s hospital, where he is now hovering between life and death. His jaw was set by Dr. Magie a day or two ago, but serious inflammation has set in, and the doctor said yesterday it would probably be necessary to put a silver tube in his throat to enable him to breathe. His case is a very serious one and the chances are even between life and death.
One of the stories that has long been passed around West Duluth is that, many years ago, perhaps the 1920s, some guys from the ol’ Raleigh Street Gang handcuffed a cop to a pole or a post and pinned his badge to his ass.
I recently came across this photograph of myself observing graffiti at an I-35 underpass in West Duluth, probably from 1997 or 1998. So I went back and rephotographed the spot to show how the graffiti has changed.
I’m not sure if these are junior high students from Oneota School or if they are high school kids and this is a community team for the Oneota neighborhood (part of West Duluth). Denfeld didn’t have an official football team until 1917.
I don’t know the names of any of the players, except the guy sitting cross-legged in the middle — he’s my great uncle, Sam Brassard. (Yep, Uncle Sam.)
This house at 738 N. Central Ave. in West Duluth was ripped down yesterday to make way for the new Laura MacArthur Elementary School. I think the new school will be great, and I have no particular reason to be sentimental about this house or any of the others on the block, but there’s something that punches me in the gut when I watch a house get smashed to bits.